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Paynesville Press - March 31, 2004

PAHS choir hosts solo/ensemble contest

By Michael Jacobson

Choral students from Paynesville Area High School fared well at the solo and ensemble competition, hosted by PAHS, last week.

Four schools participated in the choral contest - BBE, EV-W, NL-S, and Paynesville - with Paynesville students accounting for 70 of the 126 entries. Nearly half of the entries from PAHS (33) earned ratings of either state superior or state excellent, the top two ratings available.

Senior Adam Ingalsbe was selected as one of the "best of site" performers at the contest. Each of the four judges, in addition to rating each performer and giving verbal and written comments, selects one performer as the "best of site."

Ingalsbe, a two-time selection to the all state choir, scored 38 out of 40 for his solo. Each performer is rated on a 40-point scale for tone quality, intonation, rhythm, balance/blend, technique, interpretation/musicianship, diction, and posture, poise, and appearance.

Other tops scorers for PAHS, all earning state superior ratings, were: sophomore Courtney Colbert (39), sophomore Caitlin Lien (38), and ninth grader Peder Thompson (38). A trio with junior Valerie Callenius, junior Ashley Spanier, and Ingalsbe scored 38, too, as did a duet by Lien and sophomore Lindsey Wyffels.

Pops Choir Choir director Cheryl Bungum was pleased with the turnout by her choral students and their results. Of Paynesville's 65 soloists, 23 sang for the first time at contest. Also, only two choral students chose not to participate at the contest. (Part of the reason that Bungum hosted the contest again was to make it easier for PAHS students to participate.)

The Pops Choir performing during the choral solo and ensemble contest at PAHS on Tuesday, March 23.

PAHS choral students start working on their solos in the fall. This year, each student got a CD with their accompaniment in order to be able to practice their solo at home. Students perform their solos in class in January, even videotaping them.

"I think it is really a wonderful growing process for the students to learn their solos and then perform for each other and a judge," Bungum said. "Even if they don't get a top rating, the skills and confidence they learn through the process will help them in future endeavors, both musical and otherwise. I am very proud of all of them for the progress each has made in both confidence and vocal skills."

In all, PAHS had 18 soloists and five ensembles earn the top rating and nine soloists and one duet earn the second highest rating.

Earning state superior ratings, the highest available, for solos were: Trista Bork, Callenius, Samantha Chevalier, Colbert, Bryce Fischbach, Dugan Flanders, Ingalsbe, Amanda Kern, Becky Leyendecker, Lien, Shonda Martinson, Jennifer Moburg, Lindsey Pelton, Shawn Reinke, Spanier, Julie Stockholm, Sami Tierney, and Thompson.

PAHS ensembles earning state superior ratings were: Callenius and Katie Nelson; Callenius, Spanier, and Ingalsbe; Lien and Lindsey Wyffels; Kayla Nelson and Tanya Whitcomb; and the Pops Choir (comprised by Holly Bennett, Bork, Callenius, Flanders, Ingalsbe, Kern, Heidi Olmscheid, Reinke, Spanier, Thompson, and Tierney).

Earning state excellent ratings, the second highest available, were: Ashley Atkinson, Bennett, Amanda Halvorson, Mara Heide, Katie Nelson, Kayla Nelson, Jessica Schwartz, Jessica Sheets, and Lauren Vaske. Katie and Kayla Nelson also earned a state excellent rating for their duet.

Next for the choirs will be large group competition in April, where the PAHS Mixed Choir and Treble Choir will perform and compete, along with the high school band.

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